A few reminders for your good-body-image summer

Beach days, pool parties and warm evenings outside...summer should be the season of nothing but fun, happy vibes and short sleeves. But, on the flip side, bikini szn can be a tricky time for those of us who struggle with their body image (read: literally everyone at least one point in their life).

When we're naturally wearing less clothing for the warm weather, it can be all too easy to come face-to-face with our insecurities. Luckily, mindset makes a *huge* difference when it comes to thinking about body image and avoiding unrealistic expectations from society/the media/sexism.

Keep reading for our top things to keep in mind as you hold on to healthy thoughts and body you can *actually* enjoy the sunny season!

Remember: Photoshop is a thing.


Most of us know deep down that the pictures we see on red carepts and ads aren't, well, actual pictures. Blake Lively has speculated that 99.9% of magazine celebrity photos are retouched somehow.

Meanwhile, recent studies have shown us that 71% of people and up to 90% of young women edit their selfies before posting them on social media—meaning, those IG gym selfies of someone's thin, toned body and perfect clear skin? Yep, that's probably not what she looks like IRL.

The thing is, it's HARD not to internalize these images, even when we *know* they're not real. We've had them imprinted in our minds our whole lives, after all—being affected by them only means you're normal. 

Your best bet? The next time you see a photo online and feel that twinge of self-doubt, try to remind yourself that no one, including the model in the picture, actually looks like that. Staying mindful of that fact will help you analyze what you see online, even if you're still finding yourself getting influenced.

Staying active can help!


Summer is the best time of the year to go rollerblading outside or on a nature walk at your local park. But exercise clothes + being extra aware of your body = bonus insecurity.

On the other hand, exercising is a fab mental health boost! To take advantage of the benefits for your body *and* mind while minimizing the insecurity, try picking outdoor activities for your workouts, like morning runs or walks out where you can pay attention to how your body feels instead of how it looks.

Love mirror workouts? Try following a YouTube yoga video on a mat outside on the lawn, or finding a dance class that doesn't meet in a room with mirrors all over the walls. If you're prone to glancing at yourself, changing your exercise scenery can help you focus on the activity itself—and not how you look doing it.

Open up if you're struggling


It can be hard to talk about something as personal as body image. But if you're having a difficult time, talking to your mom, a friend or a therapist might help you find a new perspective.

Talking to someone will probably remind you of just how many people struggle with body image, and it might be a good bonding/commiserating convo with your besties. At the very least, opening up will give your support network the chance to let you know that they're there to help you, whether that's with a conversation or positive affirmations.

Keep yourself busy


What's the best thing about summer (besides the break from school and the gorgeous weather)? Extra free time to do all of your fave things!

Whether you can't wait to dive into the new series you've been seeing on BookTok or you're excited to learn to drive, crochet, do gymnastics (take your pick!) for the first time, this season is *the* time to do it. If you're having body image issues, distracting yourself by exploring your interests will help you re-focus on all the ah-mazing things in your life like your hobbies, dreams and goals.

Plus, doing activities with friends (bestie painting night, anyone?) will give you something fun to look forward to and help you get through your struggles. Summer is a great time of year, and there are so many ways to enjoy it—no matter how you're feeling about your bod rn.

Do you have any body image advice? Let us know on IG @girlslifemag!

Keep reading for more body image and life tips:
☀️ Body image books for your self-care summer
🐬 Everything you need to know about body neutrality
⛱️ How to cope with bad body image days

Slider and top image: @mel.amartinez


by Ava Slocum | 7/5/2024